So I went to Germany to attend my cousin’s wedding – flying AMS-HAM-NUE and back this trip included my first within-Germany flight which probably contributed to some of the following things I noticed.
- I felt extremely out-of-place, especially on the very first flight. Among 40 passengers I was one of about five women. And probably the only one with bright toenails and spikey hair. Yes, I did feel like Kelly Osbourne or Pixie Geldof or one of these other rockstar daughters, minus the piercings and tattoos. It was... odd.
- Nobody ever cared to see my passport. I can see how crossing within-EU borders by any other means also hardly ever requires showing your ID but really... I could have given my boarding pass to any other person (of appropriate gender, I suppose) and have them sit on a plane connecting two major European cities.
- I was, however, "randomly" selected for security checks in Amsterdam and in Nuremberg. In Amsterdam I was asked if I had any gender preference for the person doing the... well... very thorough check. I was very tempted to ask to first see the potential candidates so that I would be able to make an informed choice – of course, I stuck to "Uh... I don’t care.“ In Nuremberg it was great fun to unpack all my carry-on luggage to show that my nail file was indeed not a knife. (For the record, I don’t really mind people being so overly protective - especially after the latest terrorism scares in Germany. It’s just amusing from time to time.)
- The in-flight announcements did not include any of the hilarious explanations on how to use a life vest. Huh, curious. Thinking back, this may have only been my 5th or 7th flight not crossing a signficant body of water (Paris-Hamburg/Berlin and some within-US flights are the others. I’m not so sure if the inner-Burma flight NYU-RGN had any sort of security announcements). So I guess it makes sense that they didn’t feel the need to explain to me what to do in case of a water landing. Still, it felt like something was missing. And of course it made the whole "Let's show you how to use a seatbelt" procedure even more ridiculous.
- Speaking of my within-US flight, in 2007 I flew about 2.5 hours from Philly to L.A. and back to Charlotte, NC. Back then, I was served a small bag of peanuts. This weekend I flew 40 minutes AMS-HAM and 55 minutes HAM-NUE and received a sandwich, a chicken wrap and a bar of chocolate respectively. (No veggie option.) You rock, Lufthansa.
- Lastly and only slightly related, I noticed how much more hedonistic I've become with regards to spending money for travel. Part of me finds this place a bit suffocating, at least when I'm not out and about doing fun stuff with friends. And of course there's the closeness to all these gorgeous cities and my family and friends. Stay tuned for many more travel updates. :)